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Byron-Bergen HS Varsity Club gets 36 students and staff to donate blood, helping more than 100 patients

By Billie Owens

Pictured: Student volunteers hand out snacks to donors. Photo credit: Susan Kuszlyk.

Submitted photo and press release:

On Thursday, March 14, the Byron-Bergen Varsity Club hosted its annual Blood Drive. Thirty-six students and staff members donated blood throughout the day, impacting more than 100 patients in need.

“It’s important to give back,” says Senior Becca Velasco.

This is her third year donating blood. Additionally, this year she is one of the 10 students who donated their time to help run the blood drive.

“Students can begin donating blood at 16 with parental permission,” says Byron-Bergen Health Educator Roxanne Wood. “Older students do not need parental permission, but all students must be in good academic standing to donate or volunteer.”

The American Red Cross, the organization collecting the donations, also provides incentives for a successful drive. Along with snacks and a free backpack to all who donate, the Red Cross sponsors a scholarship to schools collecting 30 or more pints of blood.

Despite the giveaways and scholarships, helping the community remains the driving force behind donations. The Red Cross’ app alerting donors when their blood is on its way to a patient is popular with the students.

“Byron-Bergen High School has played a pivotal role in helping and saving lives by hosting a yearly blood drive in partnership withthe American Red Cross,” says Red Cross Account Manager Thaddeus Nauden. “Thousands of lives have been helped or saved because of these students.”

“A lot of people are in need of blood,” says Junior Chloe Shuskey. “You need to help whenever you can.”

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